Financial institutions in the northern part of the country have been engaged in Tamale to explore opportunities and build consensus on developing financial products for farmers, especially women.
The meeting was organised by OXFAM and partners including Norsaac, Tungteiya Women’s Association, Shea Network Ghana, SEND GHANA, WiLDAF, Friends of Nation and Vimeo.
The engagement offered a systematic approach to tackling financial barriers of farmers, as beneficiaries of two projects of OXFAM and partners, which also seek to economically empower the farmers.
The projects are the System Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment (SIWEE) and the Women’s Economic Advancement for Collective Transformation (WEACT), a five-year project, funded by Global Affairs Canada.
SIWEE and WEACT projects focused on the shea, cocoa and sorghum value chains with WEACT benefiting 8,910 farmers from 2020.
Participating financial institutions received insights into the catalyst projects as well as financial proposals from women farmers alongside other insights into existing and potential products to build collaboration.
The proposals from the women farmers were centered on access to large working capital, access to input credit and loan related issues.
Madam Theresa Baveng, WEACT Project Coordinator at OXFAM, speaking on behalf of the Country Director of OXFAM at the meeting, said it was to share financial options from the projects’ engagement with financial institutions for partnerships and implementation.
She said there was the need to do more in addressing the struggles of women entrepreneurs and farmers to contribute to ensure optimised value within the food system.
She added that the organisation’s analysis showed that the poorest woman could take up to 1000 years to earn as much as the richest man would earn from his wealth in a month in the country.
Madam Baveng said the benefits of ensuring special attention to gender-focused credit and financial plans as well as investments would therefore become a shared advantage to both the women farmers and the financial institutions.